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Introduction Literature Task3: Genre

20th and 21st Century Writers in English

Task 3: Genre

Your task here is to read two novels from one of the genres presented in the library and write an essay comparing, contrasting and analysing the two novels. Browse through the books by clicking on the bookshelves. The links to the sites of the authors will hopefully give you information as well as inspiration.

Take notes while you are reading each part of the book. By writing down vocabulary, your thoughts and what you find interesting, it will be easier to go back and refresh your memory later when you start writing the book analysis. Retelling the story is not enough. Use quotations and references from the books in your analysis.

Choose some of these questions to consider while you are reading and before starting to write your essay. All questions are not relevant for all genres.

  1. What, if anything, ties the two books you read together?
  2. What is the theme, the idea, of the novel? Is there more than one theme? Is there a message? Make a comparison between the novels.
  3. Describe and compare the main characters. Do they develop and go through changes? What similarities and differences are there?
  4. Could the characters have lived earlier than during the 20th century? If not, why not?
  5. For whom did the author write the novel do you think? Why did he/she write these novels?
  6. What is the atmosphere of the novel and how is it achieved?
  7. Compare the structure and style of the novels. Is narrative in chronological order or told by means of flashbacks? Who tells the story? The main character, some other character or an omniscient narrator? Is the style realistic, poetic or symbolic? Is the tone comic, ironic, agitating, thrilling or romantic?
  8. What is your evaluation? Did you like the novels? You may consider emotional, ideological or aesthetic aspects.

If you cannot find these books in a local bookshop, go to the LINKS section of the course.

2004 Nationellt centrum för flexibelt lärande Uppdaterad: 2006-04-20